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Collin College Will Participate in High-Tech Training Grant

Collin College Will Participate in $2.8 Million Grant To Provide High-Tech Training

October 4, 2000 - Collin College District will participate in a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide scholarships to individuals for training in high-tech fields.

Collin College the only community college in Texas to offer teacher certification, will train and certify 60 teachers in secondary industrial technology through its state-approved teacher certification program. The college will train an additional 20 high school and college-level instructors in their regional and local Cisco Training Academies.

“The Technology Training Project will create a pipeline to meet the needs of employers in high-tech fields,” Cary A. Israel, Collin College president, said. “This pipeline will begin with the training of teachers so that youth will be prepared for high-tech occupations well into the future.” Collin College began its groundbreaking teacher certification program in October 2000 at its instructional site, the ALLEN Campus. The program is training professionals from three groups—experienced technology workers, teachers who have only emergency certifications, and certified teachers who wish to switch to a technology field—to become middle- and high-school technology teachers.

“Training teachers is an investment in the workforce of the future,” President Israel said. “Reaching out to an untapped pool of workers is an investment in the community that not only improves these prospective teachers’ quality of life but enhances society’s well-being.”

Southern Methodist University is also a partner in the Technology Training project and will train 375 individuals in high-tech occupations. These occupations include computer engineers, computer maintenance technicians, computer network technicians, computer programmers, computer support specialists, computer systems analysts, computer security specialists, database administrators, electronic commerce specialists, information technology support specialists, multimedia specialists, telecommunications technicians, web masters, and wireless communications technicians. Special outreach efforts will target low-income individuals, individuals with a disability, veterans, offenders, and racial/ethnic minorities. Targeting these individuals will expand employers’ access to an under-utilized workforce and enable these individuals to become self-sufficient and support their families.

Collin College will provide prerequisite courses to applicants preparing for admission to SMU’s high-tech training. North Central Texas Workforce is the recipient of the grant, which is part of $54,006,000 awarded by the Department of Labor in H1-B grants to 22 agencies nationwide.

“This is an essential part of our strategy to ensure that all Americans have the skills necessary to win high-wage jobs in the new economy,” President Bill Clinton said in announcing the grant.

In accepting this award, Sid Underwood, Chairman of the North Central Texas Workforce Board, said, “For North Central Texas to remain competitive in attracting and retaining companies, employers must be able to find, hire, and train workers. The Technology Training Project represents $2.8 million that the Board was able to bring to the table to improve the economy in North Central Texas.”

The grants are funded through fees that employers pay for visas for skilled workers from other countries to travel to the United States and work in high-demand fields. The Technology Training Project will train domestic workers to fill jobs in North Central Texas. The North Central Texas Workforce Development Area encompasses 14 counties: Collin, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell and Wise.

Area residents may obtain information about Collin College’s teacher certification program and training scholarships by calling Brenda Kihl, director of the program, at 214-495-3702.

Collin College serves more than 46,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.